Protesters Hit Bentonville Ahead of Wal-Mart's Annual Meeting

Northwest Arkansas' NBC affiliate KNWA-TV reporting this morning on a protest outside a Bentonville Wal-Mart, as the world's largest retailer gets set for its annual meeting Friday in Fayetteville:

The national organization "Our Walmart" staged its rally today in Bentonville. Reps tell us one of their goals is to encourage the world's largest retailer to raise minimum salaries for associates. Walmart says the protests are an attempt at a distraction and will not detract from this week's festivities.

In addition to the OUR Wal-Mart folks, you can expect to see members of a group called Making Change at Wal-Mart represented among the protesters. According to The Guardian, the group raised $9,000 via Indiegogo to bring in a special guest:

A survivor of a deadly Bangladeshi garment factory fire and a former child labourer will make their way to Bentonville, Arkansas, next week to protest at the annual meeting of retail giant Walmart.

Lobby group Making Change at Walmart raised over $9,000 on the crowdsourcing site Indiegogo this week to bring the two former garment workers over from Bangladesh.

Sumi Abedin, a survivor of the deadly fire that killed at least 112 garment workers at the Tazreen Fashion factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2012, and Kalpona Akter, a former child worker, will join a growing protest against the retailer's work practices and buying policies.

You can read the full story here.

It'll be a busy week in northwest Arkansas. Wal-Mart plans several events in the days leading up to the main event on Friday (which will be webcast). Among them: Elton John performing Tuesday at Bud Walton arena, a concert for Wal-Mart employees in town for the festivities. Country star Luke Bryan will perform Wednesday.

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